Mussels in Tomato Sauce with Sausage

Nom Nom NOM! I love making mussels because they’re so quick to prepare. I will say that this recipe tends to mask the taste of the mussels, more than other mussel recipes I’ve had, but the overall taste is so delicious, especially with bread, that I can’t complain! [This may be sacrilege, but usually my favorite part of mussels is slurping up the sauce in the mussel shells . . ] Via Food & Wine.

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  • 10 ounces pork sausage, casings removed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium white onion, minced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 medium fennel bulb (about 1 pound)—halved, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 1/4 cups tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup clam juice or fish stock [or water or chicken stock . . .]
  • 2 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
    • [I usually buy 1 1/2 lbs and it’s enough for 2 people]
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 dill sprigs, coarsely chopped
  • Grilled country bread, for serving
  1. In a large skillet, cook the sausage over moderately high heat, breaking it up with a spoon until crisp, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Wipe out the skillet, add the olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the red pepper and fennel and cook over low heat until just tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, tomato sauce and clam juice and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then add the mussels and the reserved sausage.
  4. Cover and cook over moderately high heat until the mussels open, about 10 minutes. [This seems LONG to me; my mussels are usually open and ready to go in 4-6 minutes. Just remember to shake the covered dutch oven or pot every so often to help the mussels open.]
  5. Discard any unopened mussels. Season with salt and pepper, garnish with the dill and serve at once with grilled bread.

 

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